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Unread 04-25-2014, 05:25 AM   #1
Sfmonday
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1999 FSJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wolverine Lake, MICHIGAN
Posts: 5
Lift Rookie

Hi all, I have a 1999 Cherokee with a 4.0 and everything is stock except the motor. I just got done rebuilding the motor last fall and the only thing that isn't stock in that (besides the .010" oversize cylinder hone) is the stump puller cam.

I now want to lift the vehicle between 3 and 4" I have never installed a lift kit before and I don't know where to start.

I live in Michigan so I'm not going to be doing any rock climbing but I do spend a lot of time on two tracks and the like. If I install a 4" lift, do I need to lengthen the drive shafts? What about lowering the transfer case?

I also want to have 32" tires, what is better, using offset rims or spacers? I've heard that the spacers are hard on bearings, is this true?

What is a good budget kit for my vehicle? I know that new leafs are best but that can get VERY expensive in a hurry.

I have more questions but that will do for now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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Unread 04-25-2014, 12:31 PM   #2
Agony Wagon
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: , Ohio
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Springs, shocks, hardware:
You'll need taller springs and longer shocks. The rear leaf springs should be full packs, not just add-a-leaf.
Longer u-bolts and shims. A proper kit will include these. You'll need bigger bump stops. You may also want to take the opportunity to throw in some par bin eliminators.

Control arms:
You'll need slightly longer lower-control arms.
But you'll get better results in terms of flex and ride comfort if you go with either a long-arm kit, or control arm drop brackets. You need to go over 4" for these two options, though. Adjustable control arms aren't necessary but are beneficial.

When I went from 3" to 5" I installed control arm drop brackets. The ride was extremely harsh at 3", but improved immensely with the drop brackets. It was so awful, if I had to do it again, I would have gone directly to 4.5" of lift. Yeah, it's nice being up higher and having more clearance, but I only did it so I could install drop brackets and get my control arms at an optimum angle.

You'll need longer sway bar links.

You'll want an adjustable track bar (preferably one with a double-shear bracket).

You'll probably want a SYE kit, and a double-cardan driveshaft (cheapest thing to do is get another front driveshaft from a junkyard). This is a good opportunity to install a new chain in the transfer case.

You'll need longer brake lines if you're going to take it offroad. You don't have to get those fancy braided steel lines. For mine, I think I went with YJ brake lines in the rear, and GM brake lines in the front. Maybe it was the other way around, I don't recall.

Probably will need a longer e-brake cable.

Take the opportunity replace bushings all around.

Depending on the leaf springs you go with, your rear shackle angle could be sub-optimal. This can result in a stiff ride in the rear. Shackle relocation brackets can be used to fix this.

Whether you move the center of the tires out with less backspacing or spacers won't make much of a difference. Go with whatever suits you. Neither is going to appreciably wear on the bearings, unless you go with much bigger tires, or combine minimal backspacing and spacers.

In my mind, a budget kit is a "booster" lift, which is little more than coil spacers and longer shackles. You can buy used parts from people who have wrecked or upgraded their rigs. You could try to build a "bastard pack" for the rear leaf springs. But my experience is that you have two options for going 3" or higher: 1) upgrade more than just springs and shocks, or 2) regret it.

Also, start soaking every nut and bolt you could possibly need to remove with some sort of penetrating spray. It's also fairly normal to have to cut off bolts, and cut into the frame and floor to deal with broken and weld nuts.


http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/l...-help-1561120/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/h...y-pics-404101/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/c...ts-xj-1468867/

Use the links above, search and read, search and read, and then come back if you still have questions.

In my mind, "doing it right" is a ballpark figure of $2500-3000. Not counting wheels and tires. Others may have managed it for significantly less, I'm not sure.
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Unread 04-26-2014, 01:58 AM   #3
uberxj92
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1992 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: umatilla, florida
Posts: 1,955
You can go 3.5" easy. And nit have alit to do. It'll clear 32's with some trimming.
4" isn't hard but you're getting to stock part limits.
Google budget xj lifts.
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Unread 04-26-2014, 02:47 AM   #4
sAe23
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles / SFV, California
Posts: 2,382
Here is a good place to check out lift kits:
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-li...e-xj/index.htm
I doesn't have ALL the kits, but it's got a lot.

If all you do is "mild" off-roading, I would consider smaller tires, or as small a lift as possible and a lot of fender trimming...
I would tell you to get skid plates, tow points, and lockers before going to bigger tires and a lift kit (but hold off on the locker if you must get bigger tires!)

What WIDTH tire are you considering? If bigger than 10.50 you should get new rims to accommodate the width, and you can then specify what backspacing they should have.

And to add to the previous comments, 32" tires will throw your gearing off ($$$$), and you will also need a new speedo gear.
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Unread 04-30-2014, 10:12 PM   #5
uberxj92
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1992 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: umatilla, florida
Posts: 1,955
Quote:
Originally Posted by sAe23 View Post
Here is a good place to check out lift kits:
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-li...e-xj/index.htm
I doesn't have ALL the kits, but it's got a lot.

If all you do is "mild" off-roading, I would consider smaller tires, or as small a lift as possible and a lot of fender trimming...
I would tell you to get skid plates, tow points, and lockers before going to bigger tires and a lift kit (but hold off on the locker if you must get bigger tires!)

What WIDTH tire are you considering? If bigger than 10.50 you should get new rims to accommodate the width, and you can then specify what backspacing they should have.

And to add to the previous comments, 32" tires will throw your gearing off ($$$$), and you will also need a new speedo gear.
Great info.
32's will mess with stock gearing. You'll be sluggish and lose mpg.
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Unread 05-01-2014, 08:39 AM   #6
Agony Wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sAe23 View Post
And to add to the previous comments, 32" tires will throw your gearing off ($$$$), and you will also need a new speedo gear.
I have 265/75-16 tires and haven't changed my speedo gears yet. It reads approximately 5 mph under at 60 mph and accurately at about 30 mph, IIRC. I'll probably change my speedo gear soon, but I've been using my GPS to tell me my speed.

My tranny downshifts more frequently on uphill climbs on the highway. I don't think it's terrible, though. Not sure I'll have time or budget to regear this year. On level ground, I hardly notice the larger tires. If you're a speed demon, you probably will.
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Unread 05-02-2014, 09:56 AM   #7
Sfmonday
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1999 FSJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wolverine Lake, MICHIGAN
Posts: 5
Thanks to EVERYBODY for your input. You've all given me a lot to consider as far as my lift project goes.

Again, thanks a bunch!

I will reply with what I finally decide to go with. It may be a little while till my wife gets back to work though.
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